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'Baby Daddy' postmortem: Melissa Peterman on what 'surprised' her in the season 4 finale

Warning: This story contains spoilers from the Baby Daddy season finale.

You’re not alone if you’re reeling over that big cliffhanger at the end of tonight’s season finale of Baby Daddy, in which Bonnie (Melissa Peterman) and Brad’s (Peter Porte) wedding day didn’t quite go as planned. The trouble was all due to Charlotte (guest star Reba McEntire), who tried to sabotage Bonnie’s big day as part of a personal revenge plot. The day was so tumultuous that Bonnie and Brad decided not to get married, but that wasn’t the only surprise in store: Danny (Derek Theler) stepped up, revealed his feelings to Riley (Chelsea Kane), and asked her to marry him.

The EW Community caught up with Peterman about the onscreen Reba reunion , her thoughts on Bonnie as a character and feminist, and her reaction to Danny’s big surprise.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY COMMUNITY: How was reuniting with Reba McEntire?

MELISSA PETERMAN: It really felt like no time had passed as far as making it funny together. It felt like we had just done it yesterday, but it was like that thing where you are inviting your best friend to meet your new friends and you want everything to be very nice and pretty. And you know, I was like, “Everyone clean this place up! It’s Reba! She’s coming!” I was really proud to show her off to my new cast that I adore, and to show her this new cast that I talk about all the time. We’re in contact all of the time; we’re friends, so she knows I’m super-happy with the cast. She was excited to meet them, and they clicked. She loved them; we hung out with Chelsea, Peter, and Tahj [Mowry, who plays Tucker Dobbs]. She just adores them. And they adore her—that’s a given.

It was great seeing you two together again. I liked that this time Reba was more of a frenemy; she wasn’t what people were expecting.

I liked that it was a bit of a play with the whole Barbra Jean and Reba thing. I was kind of the woman—not kind of, I married her ex-husband. In this one, we’re the best of friends. She thinks I did her wrong, and with good intentions, she’s coming back for a little bit of revenge. The best revenge is to go for my man; she went after Brad. I mean, why wouldn’t she? It was really fun. She got to be the frenemy, which I’m sure was fun for her too. And I have to say, what I loved was that the one person in our cast who figures her out is Tucker, played by Tahj. We went through so many times how much she liked working with Tahj. I love that scene; it was one of my favorite scenes, even though I’m not in it. Which is hard for an actor—I hate to say that—but it was great seeing her and Tahj together. They were perfect.

reba mcentire

Their comic chemistry really clicks. The whole cast has great chemistry, especially between you and Tahj Mowry. Is that something you two work on to get right, to get the right comic timing? It’s always fun to see you guys argue and throw witty comebacks at each other.

I think it’s pretty natural between Tahj and I. Within the first five minutes of meeting him, I felt like I was supposed to have been with him forever. We definitely work on bits all of the time. The whole Mary Hart theme song—it’s sort of a running gag on the show. Tahj and I are constantly doing stuff, probably not when we’re supposed to. We’re constantly coming up with bits; sometimes they make it in the show, and sometimes they don’t. And Reba says the same thing: “I get it, I see why you two work.” I can’t really explain it; it just sort of happens.

We’re at the end of season four. How do you think Bonnie has progressed as character since the beginning?

I think she’s always had confidence, which I loved. She’s a woman who is 40-something, with a lot of baggage. She would walk into any room and assume, Why wouldn’t the hottest guy want to talk to her? Which I think is a great. I really appreciate that Dan [Berendsen, creator] wrote the character like that. I think she’s really in love this time. As much as she and Brad fight, she finally met her match, which I think she never has before with her first marriage. That is interesting and challenging for her.

I think she’s softer sometimes. What I do like is that she’s constantly involved with her kids. Because your kids are growing up and you’re a grandma, but you’re not done writing your own book. It’s constantly evolving. I still have no idea what I’m coming back to in a few weeks when we go to work. I like that they don’t write her off, like, “Oh, she’s old, we’re done, the story is over.” I like that the story is always continuing, and the story changes. A lot people tend to write off someone my age.

Do you think Bonnie thinks she’s a feminist? What do you think women can learn from someone like Bonnie?

Definitely—she would consider herself a feminist. Actually, she would probably think she’s better than the other gender. Not equal, even better. But absolutely, she started over. She didn’t let a ruined marriage and unexpected life change make her lie down and give up. She definitely is strong; she believes that women can and should be able to do anything that they want to.

I am that actress who is 44, and what I think is so great about her is that I learn from her. Because I can’t say—I would never say—some of those things that Dan lets her say. I love that she’s 40-something, a grandma, she’s got an ex-husband, she can’t really hold a job down, the absolute confidence that she has for herself, how she looks, and who she is. She walks in a room, and she’ll see somebody like Brad or Peter and think, “Why wouldn’t he want me? Why wouldn’t a 30-year-old person want to be with that?” She is one of the best female role models out there that Dan wrote. And yes, she’s loud, but I like that she is so confident in who she is all the time, and expects that everyone would want to hang out with her. And that, I don’t have. I’ve tried to have it, I work on it, but I think she’s one of the greatest role models any girl can look up to.

It’s safe to say that nothing goes as planned in the finale, no thanks to Reba. Were you surprised that Bonnie and Brad decided not to get married at the last minute?

I was a little bit surprised, but I think I know what they want to do it. But [Berendsen] is in hiding. They’ve been so good at doing the whole Danny and Riley thing. They have me changing my mind each week—is it Ben or Danny? They’re really good at walking that line and keeping everyone interested. I was surprised it didn’t happen, but I think I know where they want to go with it. I do think we’re all on the same page, that [Brad] is [Bonnie’s] match—like she made the ultimate match with Brad. I’m excited to see what the table read will be in two weeks, because I would love her to get married. But I don’t know; I was surprised. I like being surprised, though—it’s fun as an actor.

I was really surprised too, especially by Danny’s proposal. Can you guess how you—or your character, Bonnie—will react to that surprise?

Oh, believe me, it took everything out of me as Melissa and as playing Bonnie. “Are you kidding me? This is my day!” It was natural instinct to go, “This is my day, I’m getting married!” That would be my reaction, and I think that would also be Bonnie’s reaction: “Are you kidding me? I wanted one day that was about me!”

But I believe she will be angry. Also, at the same time—that is why I love this character—as much as she can get angry at her children and think that they are making mistakes or not love every decision they make, at the end of the day, if anyone else had said it, she is a mama bear until the end of time. So ultimately, to make Danny happy, she’s got her son’s back. But at the same time, he took away the spotlight: “I was going to marry Brad; I win!”

Ben Bonnie Danny

Are you more Team Danny or Team Ben? Or do you feel that as Bonnie, you can’t pick a favorite? Although I think it’s funny how Bonnie shows that Danny is clearly her favorite, but I’m sure she loves Ben just as much.

We joke about this between the cast and the writers. We talk about Danny as the favorite, the golden child—but in reality, Ben [Jean-Luc Bilodeau] is [Bonnie]. They are almost the same person. For parents, sometimes there’s the one that’s most like you, the one that gives you the most trouble, and then there’s the one that gives the most grief. Ben is all Bonnie; they are the same person. At the end of the day, she doesn’t worry about Danny as much as she worries about Ben. He causes her more worry and heartache. I always say this to Derek too. We have these conversations that it’s not that Danny is “the dumb one,” it’s that she doesn’t worry about him. She’s always known that Danny has a path and is going to be fine. She gets to be that mom, the mom that does hockey with him, and it’s their thing. And with Ben, it’s always constant, constant stress and worry, but I know he’s amazing.

They really did a great job of changing of my mind, but right now I kind of think Ben and Riley are a good match. But I will change my mind tomorrow. Danny has loved all of her, every part of her. He loved her as a teenager, and he loved her as a chubby, insecure kid. He’s loved all of the versions of her, so that always makes me think that if you could find that in your life, that’s the greatest thing ever. But Ben challenges her. Oh, I don’t know! I change my mind all of the time.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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